Saturday, 8 April 2017

Lead Poisoning - who is at risk?

Lead is a toxicant that affect multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children, according to World Health Organization. Lead is a naturally occurring toxic metal found beneath the Earth crust. Human activities such as mining, burning fossil fuels, and manufacturing have caused it to become widespread, according to Mayo Clinic. Lead poisoning is a serious condition and can lead to death. It occurs when lead is build up in the body. Lead can be found in some paints, batteries, solder, pipes, pottery, canned foods, some toys and some cosmetics. Lead can also contaminates the soil and water. Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine has it that lead can damage almost every system in the human body and it can also cause high blood pressure (hypertension). Aaron Reuben, a graduate student in clinical psychology at Duke University pointed out that lead can be toxic to many parts of the body but in particular can accumulate in blood stream and pass through blood brain barrier reach the brain. Lead can develop many symptoms which may include abdominal cramp, irritability, high blood pressure, kidney dysfunction, memory loss and anemia in adult. While in children, the symptoms may include behavioral problems, impaired brain function, growth delay and others. At high levels, lead can damage the kidneys both in children and adult, but very high levels can cause seizure, unconsciousness and death, according to Mayo Clinic. Even small amount of lead can cause serios health problem. WHO IS AT RISK Children are most vulnerable to lead poisoning because the are more likely to put objects containing lead and lead contaminated objects in their mouth, which can lead to mental and physical impairment. It is particularly harmful to the developing brain of the fetus and the young children. It also affect their nervous system as it is still developing. According to research, work exposure has been identified as the major cause of lead poisoning in adult. Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines childhood lead poisoning as a whole - blood lead concentration equal to or greater than 10 micrograms/dc. Sources: NPR pulic health Mayo Clinic